Please help - toddler deliberately weeing on things(6 Posts)
I have a nearly three year old who has been potty trained for a few months, and has hardly had any accidents since day 1. I've just had a baby and my Ds is now displaying really attention seeking behaviour. He's a bit of a mummy's boy and I've been really worried about how he'd react to the new baby. Most of the time he's great but at bedtimes it's becoming a real battle. He calls for me, and jf I don't go up instantly - often I'm feeding the baby- he wees on the floor. He has a potty in his room, so it's clear that it's deliberate. Tonight he took it one stage further and emptied loads of clothes out of his wardrobe and then weed on them. I really don't know how to handle it. We've tried getting cross, we've tried reassuring him how much we love him. He gets loads of attention all day, and lots of cuddles, so I don't know what more I can do. I know he's feeling insecure at the moment, and I know this naughty behaviour is all about getting attention. Normally I try and ignore attention seeking behaviour, but I really can't ignore this. We've spent ages making his room really nice for him, and it's so frustrating that he's trashing it. We're going to have to hire a carpet cleaner as it is, but first I need to put a stop to this behaviour but I don't know where to start. Sorry this is so long, but i'd be so grateful for any advice.
I wouldn't leave him at bedtime. That's the time he's likely to feel most insecure. Can you combine routines?
The thing is, he's always been really good at falling asleep on his own. I spend a long time reading books with him after his bath, and then one more trip to the bathroom, and then into bed. We normally have another cuddle for a few minutes, then say goodnight, and generally he's fine. When I do stay he just ends up chatting and seems to take ages to fall asleep! I'm really loathe to change this, as I like the fact he will self settle, and I don't want to be in his room for hours every night!
I had a stage if this from ds1 after ds2 was born. It was also primarily at bed time but it was normally when I was in the room dressing him for bed or during a tantrum or crying due to tiredness.
Sometimes it felt defiant but other times following a tantrum he would just be limp and let the wee out which made me feel sad because he was so resigned.
Anyway, you're right, you can't ignore it because it needs to be acknowledged in order to clean it. However I tried each time to act like it was an accident. I felt that getting angry or emotional in my response would feed the attention seeking. I was worried he would really realise how powerful a weapon it was it worse progress to poo!
A few times I carried him to toilet or potty and tried to force him to sit. I did it in anger but it didn't help.
Normally I just kept the response short but bright and breezy. "Whoa ds1. Not on the floor. here. Let me get a towel." Mop up and move on. "You should have said. I could have helped you get to toilet/potty etc"
I would often cuddle while mopping after a sobbing tantrum wee incident. That sounds like a reward but that's what he needed at the time.
The other thing I did was start a reward chart. He gets a sticker on chart for "patience" when I get to feed and put down ds2 uninterrupted. I started rewarding very short time intervals in the day time where I would leave ds1 with tv while I feed ds2 upstairs. I'd leave doors open and tell ds1 he could come up if he wanted but I'd be back in 5min. I've managed to stretch this into enough time to feed and settle for nap. Now I can normally offer a distraction at bedtime and get ds2 down before ds1 stories.
Hope that helps!
Sorry to ramble on but I'm not sure if it's clear above but I rewarded even the smallest show of patience and still praised even if he did end up following us upstairs. The open door policy and invitation to come with us helped him feel welcome but 9/10 times he'd rather be watching his tv program... Just make sure you choose a long enough program, lol.
My ds1 was also weeing in an experimental way. I'd catch him watching his penis and then seeing when the wee went out. Consistent with the above I treated some if this as accidents but when the time was right eg when he wasn't too tired to listen, I addressed it head on saying, "I've seen you experimenting with your penis but you need to do that at the toilet not on the floor... I don't want to see you doing that again. You're cousins won't be impressed if you wee on their floor" I did bright and breezy but matter of fact veiled threat that I won't take to cousins' house.
Fingers crossed for you. It's stressful. We found it settling down when ds2 about 5mo.
It's changed because you've got a baby though. He wants to know what's going on! He also wants more attention hence the wees.
I would give him cuddles all rhe time even after a wee and explain that mummy loves him and he should wee on the toilet.
When dd came along, I found those tactics worked best.
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